WBGO Journal

Saturday 6:30am - 7am

Hosted by Doug Doyle

The WBGO Journal is an award-winning half-hour news magazine that airs Saturdays at 6:30 am. Reports and analysis, informative interviews and features.

Harlan Jacobson for WBGO News

DD:  The Toronto International Film Festival has been the gateway for serious filmgoing since at least American Beauty started up north in September 1999 and went all the way to the Oscars in February the next year. This 45th edition, which ran for 10 days and closes this weekend, has been unlike any other in its history. Our film critic, Harlan Jacobson, has a rundown for us. 

HJ:  Well, I’m in Toronto in spirit, as this critical North American gateway festival went virtual for most of its participants from around the world.


The Loved and Lost project is a statewide media collaborative that launched in June to name and celebrate the lives of very resident in New Jersey lost to COVID-19.  It's being coordinated by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University and was originally a project of  NorthJersey.com.

Dave Stryker
Tony Graves

Acclaimed jazz guitarist Vic Juris died on December 31, 2019, at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston at the age of 66 after a six-month battle with liver cancer. This Sunday, September 20, from 4-5 p.m., fellow West Orange guitarist Dave Stryker (they lived on the same street) will give a nod to his late friend while also performing some of his own material at the New Jersey Jazz Society’s Virtual Social, which can be viewed on the NJJS Facebook page (NJJS).

Luis Guzman
Jon Kalish for WBGO News

If you’ve watched movies over the past few decades, chances are you’d recognize character actor Luis Guzman.  In one of his most memorable roles, Guzman played an ex-con’s sidekick in the 1993 movie Carlito’s Way

Guzman has acted in more than a hundred films and dozens of TV shows. Born in Puerto Rico, Guzman grew up in New York and lived there till 1995 when he moved his family to Vermont.

WBGO’s Jon Kalish visited Guzman this summer in Vermont and brings us this story on the actor's connection to the Green Mountain state.

Wendell Pierce

Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 8pm, The Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn presents its mainstage fall presentation with 12 Angry Men...and Women:  The Weight of the Wait in partnership with The New Press.  

12 Angry Men...and Women will be streamed live via YouTube from New York City's very first Black Lives Matter mural with 159 names of men, women and children killed by acts of racially motivated violence.  The mural is located on Fulton Street between New York and Brooklyn Avenues.

19 Years After 9/11 First Responders Are Still Paying the Ultimate Price

Sep 11, 2020
Robert Hennelly

WBGO News Director Doug Doyle speaks with WBGO Journal reporter Bob Hennelly

DOYLE: It was 19 years ago this week that two airliners ploughed into the World Trade Center and forever altered our world. On that day, close to 3,000 people perished, including 343 firefighters who were killed when the WTC towers collapsed.

Ask Governor Murphy

The September (10) edition of Ask Governor Murphy focused the reopening of New Jersey schools this past week and the proposed state budget from Governor Murphy.

Governor Murphy joined AGM host Nancy Solomon from his home, practicing social distancing.  WBGO Statehouse Reporter Joe Hernandez also remotely joined the program.

AGM is a WBGO News production in collaboration with WHYY and WNYC.

Click above to hear the entire program. 

Harlan Jacobson for WBGO News

DD: Our film critic, Harlan Jacobson, doesn’t work on Labor Day has always graced us with his annual Labor Day Address to the Nation to explain why he doesn’t work on Labor Day.

Things are different this year right Harlan?


WBGO's Doug Doyle reports looks at how NYC and New Jersey are preparing for the opening of schools and businesses.

Dr. Richard Besser

Dr. Richard Besser, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former acting Director of the CDC during the Obama Administration spoke with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about his concerns over the national reponse to COVID-19,

Monmouth University President Dr. Patrick Leahy on Fall Semester Plans

Aug 28, 2020
Patrick Leahy

Monmouth University President Dr. Patrick Leahy recently celebrated his first anniversary in West Long Branch.  Dr. Leahy couldn't imagine what he would have in store with COVID-19 creating havoc with scheduels and learning during his first year at Monmouth University.

Leahy, the 10th President at Monmouth, recently spoke with WBGO News intern Tyra Brooks about plans for the Fall Semester.

Click above to hear the entire conversation on the WBGO Journal.

New Jersey Gyms Can Reopen Sept. 1 With Restrictions

Aug 27, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

Gyms in New Jersey can reopen on Tuesday September 1 but with plenty of restrictions.

They’ll be at 25% of capacity, masks will be required while working out, machines will be six feet apart and all face the same direction. Foot traffic will also move in one direction.

Riptide Partners
RiptIde Partners

Riptide Partners, a New York based consulting business that offers full-service Customer Experience solutions for sports teams and venue operators, has unveiled its recent survey of actual New York area event attendees.  The survey reveals  a much faster return to event timeline for consumers than has been widely discussed.

Riptide Partners co-ounder Rob Comstock says the survey is the first, and most comprehensive, study of actual event attendees in the New York area since the Pandemic shutdown began.

Erin Patrice O'Brien

Maybe it’s destiny that harpist Brandee Younger moves into “The House That Trane Built,” Impulse! Records. In this episode of The Checkout, Younger talks about this welcome news — the honor, excitement, and complications that come with being signed to the legendary label.

NYC Could Lay Off 22,000 Workers by October 1

Aug 21, 2020
DC 37 Local 983

Lack of local aid from Washington may prompt similar moves here in New Jersey and across the country. 

WBGO contributor Bob Hennelly speaks with News Director Doug Doyle about the ongoing economic fallout from the COVID pandemic.

An American Pickle
Harlan Jacobson

An American Pickle is a Seth Rogen summer comedy, written by ex-SNL writer Simon Rich from his New Yorker story, Sell Out, in 2013. Our film critic, Harlan Jacobson, takes a dive with Rogen into the brine.

HJ: It is Schlupsk, Northern Poland, 1919. Look it up--it exists. Herschel Greenbaum is digging a ditch. His life is not so great. When he sees Sarah, a girl who is probably too good for him, he woos her with a smoked fish. A brief role for Succession’s Sarah Snook, Polish Sarah smiles and bites the fish’s head off.

Harlem Week Begins Its Virtual Celebration This Sunday

Aug 14, 2020

Usually during Harlem Week you can hear the sounds of live music and the smell of sweet barbecue wafting through the streets, but COVID-19 halted this year's celebration — but not completely.  

Harlem Week IS happening — but instead of the world coming down to the streets of Harlem — organizers are taking the streets to the world — virtually by going online.

MSU PSEG ISS Green Teams Making an Environmental Difference in Newark

Aug 14, 2020
Montclair State University PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies

Community gardens where there used to be vacant lots, legislation that regulates greenhouse gas emissions, and more energy efficient power companies. Three groups of college students have dedicated their summer to bringing these visions to life in Newark.

The Montclair State University PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies has just wrapped up their 2020 Green Teams program.

Some NJ Schools Could Start Year Remotely If Health and Safety Standards Aren't Met

Aug 13, 2020

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced Wednesday schools that certify they cannot meet health and safety standards by the first day of class, must start the year with all remote learning. 

The announcement comes a couple of days after the board for the Elizabeth School District in Union County voted to start the school year remotely; counter to Governor Murphy’s insistence that some form of in-person learning take place.

Jené Elzie
Jené Elzie

Jené Elzie is the Chief Growth Officer for Athletes First Partners and has more than two decades of experience as a global sports and entertainment executive. Elzie, a former All-American gymnast at Stanford University, is charged with developing and implementing growth strategies across international and other non-traditional revenue streams for the agency.

Prior to A1 Partners, Jené served as Vice President of International Marketing for the NBA, where she oversaw the league's marketing endeavors oustide of the U.S.

Tom Hanks
Harlan Jacobson

Greyhound is a WWII tale of American heroics in the North Atlantic , written by and starring Tom Hanks, who’s made a great career out of putting forward humble men who just want to get the job done and go home, in this case set on a naval Destroyer.

The mission given to Tom Hanks as US Naval Commander Ernie Krause in Greyhound is to safely escort a 37-ship convoy of troops and supplies across the North Atlantic in early 1942 and navigate for five days, outside of American airpower, around -- or over -- a German school of U-Boats calling itself the Wolfpack.

Pete Hamill
Rob Loud/Getty Images

Legendary New York-based writer Pete Hamill passed away this week at the age of 85.

The Brooklyn-born son of Irish immigrants dropped out of high school but went on to a career as one of the most respected newspaper columnists and editors and writers of memoirs and novels.

WBGO’s Jon Kalish got to rub elbows a few time over the years with Hamill and produced this appreciation. 

Click above to hear Jon's feature.

FDU's Plans for the Fall Semester during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Aug 7, 2020

In the final part of WBGO's series with representatives of area colleges and Universities , WBGO News intern Tyra Brooks spoke with Farleigh Dickinson University President Dr. Christopher Capuano.

Dr. Capuano talks about how online classes will dominate FDU's approach this coming semester. He became the school's eighth president in 2016.

Click above to hear the entire conversation.

Angela Hsieh for NPR News

Some angry residents in New Jersey and New York still don’t have power in their homes after Tropical Storm Isaias brought it strong winds and rains to both states, knocking down power lines and trees nearly everywhere.   PSEG officials say it's asking for help from utilities across the U.S. and Canada to help restore electricity. The tropical storm knocked out power about 575-thousand of that utility’s customers. Burlington County in South Jersey along with Bergen and Essex counties in North Jersey bore the brunt of the outages.

Newark Public Library

WBGO's Janice Kirkel chats with Joslyn Bowling Dixon, the new Director of the Newark Public Library.

Bowling Dixon brings 20 plus years of experience with her from the latest job in Virginia.

Click above to hear the entire interview.

Care Cube
Care Cube

As concern grows among public health authorities over a surge in coronavirus infection, hospitals struggling to cope with the challenge of caring for people during the pandemic have a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

A new, low-cost portable isolation unit that promises to cut a number of expenditures, including those for personal protective equipment, is set to begin production soon. 

Click above to hear Jon Kalish's feature on Care Cube.



WBGO News continues with its series of interviews with area university and college representatives to find out their plans for the Fall Semester during the coronavirus pandemic.

This week WBGO News Intern Tyra Brooks checks in with Montclair State University's V.P. of Student Life Dr. Karen Pennington.

Click above to hear the entire conversation.


Immigration advocates in New Jersey are praising a two-year old state program that provides free legal aid to people in federal immigration detention. More than HALF of detainees who were provided with lawyers by the program were released. 

One of detainees who got released was North Plainfield resident Fernando Fernandez Dominguez … who was picked up during an ICE raid in 20-17. Fernandez Dominguez had a private attorney but was not happy with the attorney’s representation. It wasn’t until he got a lawyer through Rutgers University’s legal clinic that he got released.

Governor Murphy: Large Indoor Parties Must Stop!

Jul 30, 2020

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, once again, implored young people to not gather for large parties. especially inside.  

"Having that notion." I get it; we get it. We've all had our routines turned upside down for the past four months and we want to blow off some steam with friends. I can't fault -- none of us can fault anyone for having that notion" 

At the same time, Governor Murphy says crowded house parties just can't happen right now.  

"Around more efficiently." They are not safe, period. They are how coronavirus gets passed around more efficiently."

Brit Harley / Newark Public Radio/WBGO

Newark native, Khajuaan Walker, is the visionary behind Coal Crown Creative; a lifestyle brand committed to exploring what it means to be Black and a self-advocate through programming and self-expression. Be heard, be loved, and be accomplished are the three pillars that all CCC programs and initiatives are grounded in. Coal Crown Creative released “Classically Beautiful”, two filmed discussions that featured Black women and their relationship to internal and external beauty.